Madison, WI – Jenna Rodriguez always thought that she had sympathetic friends, but after a malicious series of attacks on Facebook, the University of Wisconsin graduate student is now left wondering whether she’ll ever be able to determine who is really her friend and who is a sadistic monster.
Last Monday marked the third anniversary of Ms. Rodriguez’s grandfather’s death. She honored the occasion by updating her Facebook status to read “My grandpa left us three years ago today. I miss him so much. [frowny face emoticon]” When she checked Facebook again a few hours later, she saw that a number of her friends had left consoling comments. But she was shocked and dismayed when he noticed that four of her friends apparently “liked” the fact that her loved one was dead and that she was presently sad about it.
“It was just weird,” said Ms. Rodriguez. “Seriously, who does that? When you see a ‘thumbs up’ symbol underneath a status that says you miss your dead grandfather . . . I mean, what the hell?”
The thinking behind the malicious and cruel act is a mystery to Ms. Rodriguez. “I’m not sure whether they liked the fact that my grandfather is dead, or that I’m feeling down about it, or both,” said Ms. Rodriguez. “Either way, it’s awful. How dare these people make such a foul gesture! I regret ever sending friend requests to them.”
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Ms. Rodriguez has been a victim of malicious “liking.” “About six months ago, I had my car broken into and my stereo stolen. That was bad enough, but then I posted on Facebook something like ‘My car was broken into, and I’m so mad I could kill someone,’ and some people ‘liked’ that! The world really is a dark and cruel place.”
Ms. Rodriguez says this latest experience has caused her to re-think her friending strategy on Facebook. “You can’t just ‘friend’ anyone anymore. Those days are over. I’m going to be far more selective in my friend requests, because you can never know who really wants to be your friend and who just wants to just pour salt into your wounds with a maniacal smile and ‘thumbs up’ symbol. I fear for our future.”